4 Types of HIIT | Find Out Which Is Best For You

Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
skip-the-gym-tabata-workout
Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
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HIIT Training is an incredibly versatile form of exercise, practical for everyone from beginners to experienced athletes. Plus it's, compared to going to the gym, easy to work into your schedule since you can do it from the comfort of your home. To really see results, we recommend doing a HIIT workout at least four times per week.

If you're still not clear about what HIIT is, we'll explain it to you. It's high-intensity interval training consisting of a series of intense exercises performed over a short period of time with minimal breaks. Putting it into practice doesn't require much on your end. You don't need any extra equipment or weight––just your bodyweight and maybe some living room furniture to help you perform some of the exercises.

Now let's break down the various types of HIIT that you can do from home––Tabata, cardio HIIT, full-body HIIT, HIIT with weights, and HIIT for runners.

Looking for all things HIIT? Here's everything you need to know about HIIT Training.

Tabata, for beginners and advanced athletes

Tabata is one of the most popular forms of HIIT out there. The workout consists of 8 rounds of work broken up by 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest until you reach four minutes. Then, you move on to the next exercise.

Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, core, back muscles.

Exercises to get started: squats, crunches, high knees, lunges.

Advanced exercises: dynamic squats, burpees with push-up, spiderman plank, bulgarian squats with jump.

Ready to try Tabata? Check out this Tabata workout featuring eight simple exercises.

Cardio HIIT

Cardio HIIT focuses on elevating your heart rate, so consult a doctor if you have any heart issues before training this kind of exercise. If you're good to go, get ready to experience multiple benefits, including burning calories, improving your bone density, and your cardiovascular system.

Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, core, lower-back.

Exercises to get started: There aren't any specific exercises for beginners or experts. Rather, it's about the intensity of the exercise. With that in mind, if you're starting out with cardio HIIT, take a look at the guide below to get an idea of what your heart rate should be based on your age.

  • Between 30-40: 95 - 114 beats per minute (bpm)

  • 40 - 50: 90 - 108 bpm

  • 50 - 60: 85 - 102 bpm

  • 60 and up: 80 - 96 bpm

Advanced exercises: As you progress with HIIT, you can monitor your progress by measuring your resting heart rate (we recommend checking it first thing in the morning before getting out of bed). Follow the chart below to get an idea of what your heart rate should be during your heart rate when you're at maximum performance.

  • 30 - 40: 171 - 190 bpm

  • 40 - 50: 153 - 170 bpm

  • 50 - 60: 162 - 180 bpm

  • 60 and up: 144 - 160 bpm

Full-body HIIT

A full-body HIIT workout is great for anyone, no matter what your level of fitness is. This form of interval training is more effective than a long session of cardio and is ideal for losing weight and toning your muscles.

Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, core, shoulders––basically all the muscles of your body. (It's called full-body HIIT for a reason, ya know.)

Exercises for beginners: push-ups, side kicks, bear crawls.

Advanced exercises: mountain climbers, curtsy lunges, handstand push-up, plank with hip dips.

Dive in with this fast and fun full-body HIIT workout.

HIIT with weights

Adding weights to your HIIT workout can increase muscular strength, bone density, and even work your heart muscles. If you're a newbie to working out with weights, then we recommend taking a step back and performing the exercises without weights. You can gradually work a little weight in after mastering the moves. (And by the way, a weight can simply be a water bottle you have sitting around the house.)

Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip muscles, triceps, shoulders.

Exercises for beginners: squats, shoulder press, later and front raises.

Advanced exercises: back fly, romanian deadlift, tricep extensions.

Ready to hit the weights? Try this eight-minute HIIT workout with weights.

HIIT For Runners

Runners who combine their training with HIIT can improve their strength and endurance for race day. Add squats, mountain climbers, and/or springs to your training and increase your explosiveness, too.

If you're new to HIIT, we recommend separating your HIIT days from your running days––at least to start. Those of you who have a bit more experience can feel free to end your runs with a short HIIT workout at home.

Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, core, pecs.

Exercises for beginners: Tabata with mountain climbers. Eight rounds of 20 seconds of mountain climbers, followed by 10 seconds of rest between each round.

Advanced exercises: Tabata with squats. Eight rounds de 20 seconds of squats, followed by 10 seconds of rest between each round.

Ready to run? Check out our HITT treadmill workout.

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